Validating a Non-New Jersey Judgment in New Jersey
Thomas W. Hartmann
The Hartmann Law Firm LLC
TheHartmannLawFirm.com; [email protected]; 908 769 6888
Enforcing the Judgment. If you win a lawsuit in another state, but the losing party only has assets in New Jersey, what do you do? The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act permits a judgment, decree or order of the United States or any other court to be given “full faith and credit” in New Jersey. This is also called “domesticating” or “docketing” the judgment in New Jersey.
Coming to New Jersey. Assuming you have done everything right in the other state or federal action outside of New Jersey, you follow a fairly straightforward process of filing certified copies of the other state or federal judgment in New Jersey with the Clerk of the Superior Court in Trenton, New Jersey. You or your attorney will also have to file an affidavit setting forth what happened in the prior case, whether the judgment was by default, and whether attempts to vacate (or reverse) the default or appeal the judgment have expired.
The other side can oppose this and can file an objection within 14 days.
If you are successful in getting the court to docket the judgment in New Jersey, it turns into a New Jersey judgment – just as if you had filed and won here. Then, you can pursue attempts to collect assets that pay for the judgment you have won.
The Reverse. The reverse situation might also occur – you win an original judgment in New Jersey, but find assets in another state. Then, following that state's version of the Uniform Enforcement of Judgments Act, you may be able to domesticate the judgment in that state and find assets to support your judgment.
The key point is that if you have a judgment in another state but assets are slim in that state, you can enforce the judgment in another state if assets are there.
The Hartmann Law Firm LLC can assist in these matters to insure your business and your assets are protected. Beyond this, we can help guide businesses through issues ahead of litigation or aggressively advocate in litigation and business disputes should the need arise.